For someone who claims to be fighting to trim back costs due to “extravagant spending” by previous city councils, Costa Mesa Councilman Steven Mensinger sure likes to spend more than he saves. Let’s exclude from this equation the millions in unnecessary spending to defend the efforts he and his colleagues have flushed trying to skirt the law and outsource city services. Let’s skip the fact that their so-called savings plans would save little if any money, while sacrificing quality services for Costa Mesa residents. Mensinger has made two proposals, the first Annual Efficiency Audits, to reign in spending that spend money without any evidence of actuial, or potential cost savings.
Mensinger’s most recent shell-game is a proposal, the Civic Openness in Negotiations ordinance, that he claims will bring transparency to contract negotiations with city employee organizations. On tonight’s Council meeting agenda Mensinger proposes to ban all employees from negotiating on behalf of the city if the contracts they are negotiating on will benefit them. This provision alone, will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultant fees to pay for $300-plus an hour contract negotiators. On top of that, Mensinger proposes that an audit of the fiscal impacts of current employee benefits and pay be conducted and provided 30 days prior to contract negotiations. Such an audit compiles information that city managers already have from their annual budget development process. This useless audit will not review any impacts of proposed revisions. More consultants, more money.
We’re all for transparency her at LiberalOC, but when the costs outweigh the public benefit we have to wonder if there is more grandstanding than substance for nothing more than personal political gain.